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Global solar PV market reaches 27.4-GW in 2011, up 40% Y/Y

March 20, 2012 | Paul Buckley | 222904308
Global solar PV market reaches 27.4-GW in 2011, up 40% Y/Y Global solar photovoltaic (PV) market installations reached a record high of 27.4 GW in 2011, up 40% Y/Y, according to the annual PV market report, 2012 Marketbuzz issued by NPD Solarbuzz. Market growth overall in 2011 was driven by strong second half demand ahead of further deep cuts in solar incentives.
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This followed a period of over-production in the first half that
triggered the sustained price decline through the PV chain that came to
characterize 2011. The dominance of Chinese manufacturers in crystalline
silicon wafers, cells and modules grew, the share of thin film
declined, and demand in Asian markets grew rapidly.

The PV industry generated $93 billion in global revenues in 2011, up
12% Y/Y, while the industry successfully raised more than $8 billion in
corporate equity and debt. Of the more than 100 countries worldwide
covered in Marketbuzz, the top five PV markets were Germany, Italy,
China, the United States, and France - 74% of global demand in 2011. China
soared 470% Y/Y, rising from to third place from seventh in 2010.

European countries accounted for 18.7 GW, or 68% of world demand in
2011, down from 82% in 2010. Strong growth in France and Italy, combined
with a year-end surge in German demand that held it flat Y/Y, meant
that Germany, Italy and France collectively accounted for 82% of the
European market.

Worldwide solar cell production reached 29.5 GW in 2011, up from 23.0
GW a year earlier, with thin film production accounting for 11% of
total production. Production from China and Taiwan accounted for 74% of
global cell production, up from 63% in the prior year. The Top 10
polysilicon manufacturers had 204K metric tons per annum of capacity in
2011, while the Top 10 wafer manufacturers accounted for 20.7% of global
capacity.

The excess of solar cell production over demand during 1H'11 caused
market-weighted average crystalline silicon factory-gate module prices
to drop 28% in 2011, significantly more than the 14% drop the previous
year. Furthermore, Q4'11 versus Q4'10 prices were down 46%. Over the
next five years, factory-gate module prices are projected to drop
between 43% and 53% from 2011 levels. Average c-Si factory-gate prices
in 2012 will be at least 29% lower than the 2011 average.

Over the next 12 months, the Rest of World markets are projected to
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